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Film + Director Talk: The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, USA, 1996)

  • Whitney Humanities Center 53 Wall Street New Haven, CT 06511 (map)

Introduced and followed by a discussion with the director.

The politics of gender and multiculturalism, with their prickly debates about who is entitled to tell whose story, are twitted with such good-humored cheek in Cheryl Dunye's mock documentary, ''The Watermelon Woman,'' that feathers will undoubtedly be ruffled.

A breezy, faux-cinema-verite account of a black lesbian film maker researching the life of an obscure actress from the 1930's, the movie, which opens today at the Film Forum, walks a fine line between serious intellectual inquiry and outright spoof. That it succeeds in being both stimulating and funny is a testament to the talent and open-heartedness of Ms. Dunye, who wrote and directed the movie and is its star.—NYT